tv [untitled] November 21, 2011 10:30pm-11:00pm PST
around $500 million. this year, we're facing another budget deficit of almost $400 million. fortunately in recent years, we have had some ability to do some one-time budgeting tricks that allow us to balance the budget that do not exist this year. in past years, we've received federal stimulus money. we received more monies from the state government. last year our labor unions decided to contribute a quarter of a billion dollars to help balance last year's and this year's budget. those are things we do not have the ability to avail ourselves of us we balance the upcoming budget in a few months. we are faced with far fewer options. i think we are going to have to continue to look at very deep and difficult cuts.
our priorities have to be insuring and protecting the most basic city services and helping to ensure that we have services to the most vulnerable during this great recession. >> what about the city's housing needs? what should the board due to address those needs? >> we are a city that is seventh by 7 miles. we have incredible density. we're the densest neighborhoods on the west coast. everyone wants to live here. that drives up housing prices dramatically. the housing costs are driving out working folks, families, the middle class. we need to continue to reinvest, to build, to develop, and maintain a troop stock of affordable housing. i am committed to increase in more funds so that we can build
more housing that can be afforded by folks of all economic backgrounds. >> what about the issue of homelessness? >> in recent years during the terrible economy, we have had to cut back significantly. our social-service net, programs for folks who may have mental illnesses, we have seen many problems become exacerbated on the streets. when you combine that with the fact that we have an affordable housing in most parts of the city, it is no surprise our homeless numbers have gone up in recent years. the city needs to recommit ourselves to the values that our city was named after. st. francis believed in compassion for those who have less -- had less than others. those of us with opportunities have to give back.
part of that entails taking care of the most important among us, the folks who have need, including our homeless. >> let's talk about the transportation situation in your district. you mentioned that transit could be better. how is parking and traffic? is there enough muni service now? >> you are talking to the one member of the board that does not only car. i get around my district by muni, bicycle, or hailing a cab. our transit system is truly challenge. our bosses are late one out of four times. -- our buses are late one out of a quarter times. they're still not as clean and safe as we'd like. we can do better and investing in our muni system. we need more taxicabs on the streets.
is difficult to obtain a cab. i support the concept of centralized taxi dispatch systems so you know who you can call to get a cab. i am a big believer in pedestrian bicycling as options to get around town. many cities in the world have far more people working or on bicycles into blocking or on bicycles. they are pleasant most of transit and are efficient. -- many cities in the world have far more people walking or on bicycles. they are pleasant and efficient forms of transportation. that will take cars off the road and make it easier for those who drive. if we want to create a world- class transportation system, we have to make a commitment to each of these modes of transit to allow us to move where we need to go.
>> is it safe for pedestrians on the streets? >> it is not. in recent years, we have had too many pedestrian accidents. there are estimates it costs our cities several hundred millions a year because of traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities. i am asking one of our transit agencies to study where we're spending our dollars around the district and whether we invested more money would help to reduce our overall costs that come when a pedestrian is hit by a car. >> let's talk about crime in your district. how is the police department doing? do you have any thoughts on how the city is dealing with crime? >> crime rates have been down, particularly violent crime rates and homicides. that is a good thing. in the first few weeks of 2011,
homicides have started to climb back up. we have to be ever vigilant about crimes occurring in all of our neighborhoods. i have been generally satisfied with much of the activity of the san francisco police department. in my district on nob hill, we have always had too many automobile break-ins. on polk street, there are many incidences of drug dealing and prostitution. in some of the entertainment quarters, we of shootings that happened. these are perennial issues that the police department needs to continually tackle. i am a big fan of the concept of community policing. that is the idea that our local police officers need to establish a better relationship with members of the community, residents, and merchants.
through that community partnership, we have seen true successes in being able to combat crime. you have eyes and ears on the street cooperating with the men and women in blue. that helps to reduce crime. i have been pushing our police department to implement that. >> your district is a well-known nightlife destination. how do you balance the needs of the residents with the needs of the restaurants and bars? >> i moved into my neighborhood in part because we have such a wonderful vibrant nightlife. san francisco is famous for our restaurant scene, are seen, club scene. -- are sbar scene. we have had too much violence around these nighttime venues. i have passed several pieces of legislation to address the security and safety needs of
neighborhoods. we all support a healthy, vibrant nightlife. but we also support a safe nightlife that complements our neighborhoods and is not in competition with our neighborhoods. >> what are your thoughts on the city's economic development? what would you like to change about the approach to developing the economy? >> as a city, i do not think we have been good at creating jobs and economic development. there are things we can do to make life easier for businesses. businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. over the past few years, i have helped to eliminate dozens of fees that have been nickeling our small businesses to death. i have been pushing for more
stimulus from city contracts. in the past, those would be awarded mostly to non-san francisco businesses. san francisco needs to do a better job of cultivating business innovation. we need to be the city that competes with silicon valley to attract clean tech, biotech companies. we can do a better job of nurturing creative industries. we need to create a better economy for our local artists. this is a city that has many thousands of small businesses. as someone who used to run a small business, the city can do a much better job of nurturing that sector. that is part of the life blood of who we are as san franciscans. >> we could do better. are we on the right track?
>> i think we are in a transition right now. we have an interim mayor and a new board of supervisors. i do think we have a new tone at city hall to move things forward. we have a lot of challenges we are facing. i am doing everything i can to put us back on track. >> let's talk about the role of sports in the city's economic future. are you happy with the plans for the america's cup? >> i have been a huge fan of the america's cup. i am proud of this board came together unanimously after a fairly contentious debate to support bringing the america's cup to san francisco in 2013. it is estimated it will not only be an incredible sporting event, not only showcase our city and the natural amphitheater of the bay, but it is estimated to bring in over $1 billion in economic activity with 8000 to
9000 jobs. it will be a lot of fun. i am very excited. >> should we spend money to keep the 49ers? >> i just had a conversation with the head of the organization. i told him that i and many others would love to do what we can to keep our beloved 49ers here in san francisco. they are having a conversation with santa clara. we think they need to be part of a city that is in their name. there is so much history intertwined between our 49 years and san francisco. i am very committed to doing what i can to keep them here. >> governor brown has proposed to eliminate funding for redevelopment agencies. what is your opinion of the plan? >> we knew that by electing a
governor brown he would have to make incredibly difficult choices. i do think this through development proposal goes a bit too far -- redevelopment proposal goes too far. it would be catastrophic to many developments and proposed developments. i hope the ongoing conversations to change his proposal will modify it into something that will continue to help localities and counties like san francisco. i think we can get there. >> water some of the biggest land use issues in your district? >> in addition to the america's cup planning, there is a discussion around the development of cpmc. it would be the largest hospital project our city has seen in decades. it would probably be the largest
land use project discussed this year. it is right on the edge of my district. it is seated at the intersection of several separate as oriole -- supervisorial districts. there are issues around displacement, the impact of a large hospital on the surrounding neighborhoods, and whether the size of this hospital and plans in the city wide picture of health care access. i am sure we will have robust discussion about this in the coming months. >> are there any other issues that concern you that we have not discussed? are there any other interests you plan to concentrate on as supervisor? >> one thing every supervisor works on is the relationship between our neighborhoods and city hall.
i am blessed in district 3 to have a rich network of neighborhood associations, merchant groups, and nonprofit organizations that i interface with regularly. they often had difficulty navigating city hall. i am trying to help develop neighborhood councils that bring together these various groups to interface with city hall and city staff as a model to foster partnerships between and our neighborhoods and city government. it is a model we have been working on for a couple of years in district 3. i hope to replicate it to out san francisco fairly soon. >> we are out of time. thank you so much for joining us today on sfgtv "meet your
trains serve many writers -- san francisco buses and trains serve many riders. the need to be sure they can get off at their intended stop. the digital voice announcement system, which announces upcoming stops, can help these low vision riders know where they are, but only if set properly. >> it is a wonderful piece of technology, but in practice, it is a little bit more tricky. oftentimes, i find that the automatic announcement system is turned off or turned down so low that i'm unable to hear it, or it is turned up so high that the sound is distorted. >> most of the time, it does not ever seemed to be on. or is it is, it is a really quiet. occasionally, it is so loud that it is distorted. >> driver, may i have california
st., please? >> no problem. >> whenever the announcement system does not work properly and a driver does not call out the stops, and i'm totally lost as to where i am. the announcement system calls out the stops, but to help the customer, i caught the destination, transfer points, and requested stops. and it is the law. >> i use the p a system to make sure everyone on the bus here is my announcements. >> i have had both experiences with the loudness and the to stop for the announcements. you are never going to have it exactly balanced for every trip because your level of noise changes. the announcement system ranges from 1 to 10. 10 would be too loud, a little distorted. eight is a good number. not too loud, but loud enough for everyone to hear and understand what is going on. >> i think bus drivers might not
be aware of the fact that if you let a visually impaired person off at the wrong stop, number one, they may be absolutely unfamiliar with the area they are in. >> the driver overshot the stock that i wanted. i decided to get off and find my way back, but it was very disorienting, not exactly understanding how far i was. number 2, it might be a potentially dangerous situation if they do not know the area and are attempting to make crossings that they are unfamiliar with. >> they let me off somewhere else. i had no idea where i was. i missed the stop, and the bus was gone. then, i look around. i tried to find someone to help me, and i cannot find anybody. i would have no way of knowing where i am at. >> [inaudible] i asked why he did not stop when
i asked. we did not panic. we do not know where we are. we do not know what is going on. i get over there, and right away, i almost got killed. >> #3, it's the person in question is trying to get somewhere, it is going to make them late for whatever they are doing. >> i had to find my way to a corner and ask someone where i was going to and how to get there. i eventually made it to my appointment, which was with social security, but i was very late, and they almost did not see me. >> i was very late former doctor's appointment, and there was concern about whether or not i could be fit in. >> when i get off i stock that is unfamiliar to me, because i have no sight, i cannot just automatically orient myself off to a new environment. it takes a lot of training, a
lot of work. there are a lot of skill sets involved when i am first introduced to a new area. to get off at an unfamiliar bus stop for the first time and to do it unintentionally -- it can be a really disorienting experience. >> i think there is a sense that it is ok, that person is going to find their way, and did they do not know where they are, you are potentially putting them in a seriously dangerous situation. >> i always appreciate when the drivers are proactive in asking questions like, "where do you want to get off?" i appreciate when they help find a seat for me. i also appreciate when everything is working properly as far as the voice announcement system. they make sure that it is turned on, that it is loud enough for everyone to hear, not turned down so low that it helps no one.
>> excuse me, driver, what stocks are we at? can you remind me when we get to venice and broadway? thanks. >> what we're talking about here is full participation and inclusion. i want to be able to lead a full life. the only way that i'm able to get from place to place this by using a fully accessible public transit system like meany -- muni. >> the americans with disabilities act of 1990 is a wide-ranging federal civil- rights law that prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. title two of the ada addresses access to public services, including public transportation for persons with disabilities. it requires transit operators to
call out stops at transfer points, major intersections, and major destinations, and to announce particular stocks requested by customers with disabilities. stop announcements are especially important for passengers who are blind or have low vision. these individuals cannot travel independently if they are not assured of getting off at their intended destination point.